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SIRIC Montpellier Cancer, a cornerstone of Montpellier’s Med Valley

Information updated on 27/09/21

The integrated cancer research site is preparing to set up an oncology transfer and innovation center, illustrating the momentum it is building. Here is a presentation of this rising star.

Marc Ychou, directeur général de l’Institut du Cancer de Montpellier et directeur du SIRIC Montpellier Cancer©@lemasmedia

Marc Ychou, General Director of the Montpellier Cancer Institute and Director of SIRIC Montpellier Cancer ©lemasmedia

It has been said that we go faster alone, but we don’t go as far. That could be SIRIC Montpellier Cancer’s motto. The integrated cancer research site (which gives the acronym “SIRIC” in French) will begin construction on a new building for an oncology innovation and transfer center, notably hosting its biological blood and tumor sample collections and its translational research platforms. In addition, an entire floor of the building will be reserved for startups leveraging results of research carried out within the SIRIC structure.

“The purpose of the new building is to transfer therapeutic innovation to patients faster, while supporting multi-disciplinary research efforts undertaken by the SIRIC,” explains Marc Ychou, General Director of the Montpellier Cancer Institute and Director of SIRIC Montpellier Cancer.

This project illustrates the positive impact SIRIC Montpellier Cancer has had since 2013. The only certified SIRIC (integrated cancer research site) in the Greater Sud de France area, the project unites medical and research teams from the Montpellier Cancer Institute (ICM-Val d’Aurelle), Montpellier CHU hospital, INSERM, CNRS, University of Montpellier, Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, and nearly 500 clinical practitioners and researchers whose common goal is to improve understanding, prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer.

“Our SIRIC’s strength is that it brought together all the stakeholders in this field and serves as a gateway for oncology research projects,” highlights Marc Ychou.

With a focus on colorectal cancer, personalized radiation therapy, and resistance mechanisms to cancer treatment, SIRIC Montpellier Cancer also devotes part of its work to human and social sciences, notably evaluating the impact of cancer on patients and the effects of physical activity on their morale and their cancer treatment.
 
The organization excels in all these areas. Its achievements are proof. Starting with circulating tumor DNA technology, which makes it possible to take liquid biopsies when treating colorectal cancer, using a simple blood sample to access all the genetic and molecular characteristics of cancer cells. This helps guide treatment strategy and makes it easier to track efficacy.
 
Another major advance is SIRIC’s tumor microenvironment analysis platform, based on Cytof/Hyperion technology, enabling researchers to map tumor complexity in detail for the first time in France. In addition to this tool, which is helpful for detecting new therapeutic targets, SIRIC Montpellier Cancer also developed a blood test for detecting the radio-sensitivity of healthy tissue.
  
An integral part of the University of Montpellier’s MUSE I-site, this SIRIC fully upholds its mission: making sure that fundamental research carried out in Montpellier leads to clinical applications and generates jobs and economic value.

“The Med Valley project is excellent news for us. SIRIC Montpellier Cancer is entirely on-board,” concludes Marc Ychou.

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